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Girl conducting science experiment with dry ice

How to Throw a Science Birthday Party

Learn how to throw a science birthday party your child and their friends will love!

Girl conducting science experiment with dry ice
Photo courtesy of @robinson.lab on Instagram.

Science-themed birthday parties for kids are becoming increasingly popular, and we think it’s fantastic! Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education is an important element of preparing kids for the jobs of the future, and what better way to spark an interest in science than at a birthday party with all your friends?

If you think your son or daughter would love to make giant bubbles, play with gooey slime, and dress up like a mad scientist, we can show you how to plan the perfect science party!

In this step-by-step guide, we’ll help you plan a science birthday party your little genius will never forget. And don’t worry, you can pull it all off on a friendly budget using inexpensive items you have around the house as well as inexpensive supplies like dry ice from your local grocery store.

Invitations

First things first, you’ll want to announce your awesome science birthday party to your son or daughter’s friends (and parents, of course). To keep things easy and inexpensive, we recommend using a free website like Canva to design an invitation and print it at home or at a local business supply store. We made this simple but fun invitation design in just five minutes!

Science party invitation

If you’d rather not create something yourself, you can also find countless pre-made options on websites like Etsy.

Prepare Your Space

As with any party involving kids, you’ll want to choose your location carefully to ensure easy clean up. You may want to use your garage, patio, yard or nearby park to minimize the risk of causing a mess inside your home.

If your space allows, it’s always fun to set the mood by decorating with some science-themed items. Feel free to get creative with it! Here are some ideas:

  • Hang white sheets around the room to create a “sterile” lab look
  • Print out signs with a scientific themes like the ones we made below on Canva
  • Turn on a science-themed music playlist like this one on Spotify by Mark Locy
  • Arrange your balloons in clusters to make them look like floating atoms – you can even create signs to label your “atoms” as elements from the periodic table!
Science birthday party experiments in progress
Science birthday party caution sign

Science Birthday Party Favors

Right when your guests walk in the door, you can set the tone for a fun and exciting science birthday by asking them to change into their “lab clothes” for the party. To create a cost-effective and easy lab coat, you can simply take large white trash bags and, using a permanent marker, draw on a collar, pockets and buttons. Then simply cut holes for the head and arms as shown here. Other options for lab coats include pillow cases or, depending on your budget, costume lab coats for kids like these on Amazon.

And of course, don’t forget the eye protection! You’ll likely want to purchase these rather than trying to make your own, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find they’re relatively inexpensive when bought in bulk. This pack of 12 on Amazon is currently priced at only $13.99.

To enhance the atmosphere, you and any other adult assistants can don your own “lab coats,” gloves, glasses and other scientific flair.

Experiments

You can ensure the maximum amount of fun while also keeping things relatively easy for you by choosing three main experiments for your guests. The three activities we outline below should keep your guests busy for quite some time while also leaving room for them to play on their own. They’re kids after all, right?

Experiment #1: Huge Dry Ice Bubbles

For this experiment, you’ll want to set up on a table with your guests in front of you. Here are the simple items you’ll need:

  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 5 tablespoons dish detergent
  • 4 tablespoons glycerin
  • 5 pounds of dry ice (find dry ice near you)
  • Large bowl (plastic or metal works best)
  • Cloth strip

Watch the video below by brusspup on YouTube for a full demonstration of how to run this experiment.

For extra fun, you can start with a smaller bowl and then work up to the largest bowl you have, amazing your young guests each time with a bigger and bigger bubble.

You can also let the children take turns pulling the cloth strip across the bowl(s) to create the bubbles. For even more fun, find a tall, skinny container and put a few chunks of dry ice at the bottom. Then add warm water and watch as the kids are amazed by the fog. Add some dish soap and watch as the fog turns to fog-filled bubbles.

A Note on Safety: When using dry ice, it’s important to remember that dry ice should only be used with adult supervision. Given the extremely cold surface temperature of dry ice, it should always be handled with tongs, gloves or a towel. It should never be touched with your bare skin or ingested. Furthermore, make sure to use dry ice in a well-ventilated area and never put it in air-tight containers. For more safety tips, read our safe handling guidelines.

Experiment #2: Super Polymer Slime

This experiment is so much fun for kids because it’s very hands-on. You can even involve them in the slime making process by letting them choose what color(s) they want to use! Here’s what you’ll need for each batch of slime:

  • ½ cup Elmer’s-style glue
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • Food coloring
  • Contact solution
  • Baby oil (optional)

This recipe comes from WhatsUpMoms on YouTube. Watch her video below to see how easy it is to make the slime:

We love this recipe because it’s easy enough for the kids to do themselves with a little guidance and proper supervision. Plus, the kids will have so much fun manipulating their slime and oozing it through their fingers without making too much of a mess.

Experiment #3: Boo Bubbles

For the third experiment, we’ll head back to the dry ice station for more fun with bubbles. This time, you’ll be making Boo Bubbles that you can pass around to all the guests at your science birthday party.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Two pounds of dry ice (find dry ice near you)
  • 2-liter bottle
  • Plastic tubing
  • Funnel
  • Dish soap
  • Cup
  • Gloves

KiwiCo has a great demonstration of how this experiment works on YouTube. Check out the video below:

As you can see, this is an easy way to create some very fun memories for your guests. You’ll want to use gloves yourself to handle the dry ice, and we also recommend providing knit gloves for your guests who will be catching the bubbles. This will help prevent the bubbles from popping right away. If you don’t have enough for everyone, the kids can easily take turns wearing the gloves.

For more information on the science behind this experiment, check out this explanation from science teacher Courtney Rose on our blog.

Wrap Up

That’s it! Now you have everything you need to throw an incredible science birthday party for your child. As always, we can’t wait to hear from you after you give these a try. Let us know which experiments were your favorites (or your guests’ favorites) in the comments below. And if you came up with any more creative ideas, feel free to share those with us as well!

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